How to Hire Star Talent Using Social Media Sites

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...
Image by luc legay via Flickr

As a growing company, we always have human resource needs that come up. In the past few months itself I have searched online for: blog writers, PR professionals, a printing press, an ebook layout artist, a copywriter and an intern.

What might surprise you is that I didn’t use elance or craigslist. I used Facebook and Twitter!

What are the steps to hiring star talent using Facebook an Twitter?

1. Finalize the Job Description – If you want to catch the right fish, you have to use the right bait. Okay, okay, I have never been fishing-but you get the idea! Don’t look for someone to “kinda sorta” do something. Have a solid description of what you need.

2. Formulate your Ad under 140 Characters – “Need a part time graphic designer, 2 yrs. experience a must. for more information.” Or “Now hiring an intern. Smart, go-getter, can work from home!” Provide a link to a webpage for more information if needed. Encourage others to repost your ad, and be sure to thank them when they do. Be patient as it can take a few hours to a few days to circulate around fully.

3. Paste your Ad Into Your Status Update box – You can tweet your ad and post it as your status update on Facebook. I use which allows me to update all my status boxes across the board (including Linked-In, Bright Kite, and FriendFeed.)

4. On Facebook: Look into groups. On Twitter: Look at Search. By now, there are thousands of groups on Facebook representing a RANGE of professionals. You can find a group using the general Facebook search option. Think about who you want to hire first. Let’s say you are looking for a PR professional. Search for “Public Relations.” I just did a real quick search on Facebook and found an Offical PR group. It has 10,000 members AND you can post job opportunities on the wall. Perfect! On Twitter, you can use twitter search and type in industry related keywords. Be sure to try phrases as well, i.e., “looking for a job.” This will list anyone who has tweeted that phrase. Contact them directly if the opportunity makes sense.

5. Track and follow up. Track the applicants and follow up with everyone who responds. It’s not good etiquette to ignore responses. Even if someone isn’t a good fit, let them know. They took the time to respond. They deserve a polite response.

6. Narrow down the applicant pool. Check their profiles, their notes, and their updates. What does this tell you about them? Their profile tells a story. While some people may cry foul and say “well, Facebook is just where I have fun”-they are still savvy enough to know that people judge the full picture.

7. Schedule skype interviews. I prefer to do an initial interview on skype because 1) it lets me see their written communication skills and 2) generate a quick impression. If they seem like a good fit, I hire right then and there. If I need more information, I schedule a phone interview.

Any more questions about hiring using social media?

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  • Greg Peninger

    Talk about great timing. I was just going to start this approach myself.

    Thank you for the info.


  • Rebecca

    I would definitely respond to this approach – great tips!

  • Mike Coffey

    Great points, Shama. I know of one instance where an HR professional made a job offer over twitter and received the response the same way.

    One caveat from an HR pro, though. While it is perfectly legit to source and evaluate prospective employees from Facebook or other sites, once an individual becomes a bona fide candidate, I recommend against reviewing their social media sites.

    The candidate you don’t select may be able to claim that you made the decision based on information related to their protected-class status (sex, age, disability, etc.) gleaned from the site. Just because someone places their race, sex, age, affiliations, etc. out in the public for all to see doesn’t mean that an employer can safely use that info.

    It may seem a fine line to walk but many employers have walked it successfully with a little forethought and really good documentation.


  • Pingback: Can I Really Find Candidates on Twitter? | Gretchen Benes()

  • Dhara Mistry

    Hi Shama,

    The steps 2-4 can be avoided by using the the recruit through Facebook app ‘Work for Us’ ( :)

    This free app turns a company’s fan page in to a powerful recruiting tool, contains powerful social features (share/like) to help jobs go viral and uses keywords from each posting to create highly targeted Facebook Ads that are pushed to users based on their education, interests, location, etc. It even has Twitter integration which will automatically post your jobs to Twitter.

    All you have to do is post the job on the app and the app will do the rest :)

    • Shama

      Dhara – Neat tool.